August, 2013

A Dry Week

August 31st, 2013 at 4:49 am by under Bill's Blog, Weather

Storm Total Rainfall  This is Storm Total Rainfall for Friday from the Nexrad Radar at the GRR NWS.  Quite a bit of rain fell in the Detroit and Chicago areas.  Holland had between 1/3rd and 1/2″.  You can make out the rather small t-shower that caused the delay in the Bronco-Spartan football game.  Much of the area had nothing to a couple hundredths of an inch.  This looks like a dry week.  There is a weak and moisture-starved front that may kick off a couple of showers/t-showers long about Sunday evening.  It’s pretty iffy.  The next front about late Weds. is also weak and moisture-starved.  No sign of anything drastically cold….we’ll see highs from the low 70s to mid 80s across Lower Michigan this week.  The European has no measurable rain at all for G.R. through next Friday.  The GFS plot has only 0.01″ for G.R. thru Sept. 9th!  That’s probably overdone on the dry side, but there will be precious few minutes of rain over the next week.

Also, the El Reno, Oklahoma tornado has been downgraded from the EF5 to EF3.   From Dr. Ryan Maue:  “Thru 8-days, nothing well-organized in tropics w/GFS 00z. Amazingly quiet for early Sept for Northern Hemisphere.”  Significantly more ice in the Arctic than one year ago.  Yesterday a wind gust of 75 mph was reported at Skokie, Illinois and 73 mph at Tiffin, Ohio.


Severe Weather Fri. PM

August 31st, 2013 at 1:26 am by under Bill's Blog, Weather

chicago 3  chicago 4  Severe thunderstorms hit SE Wisconsin and NE Illinois Friday PM.  One of the reasons that the storms were more numerous and more severe on the other side of Lake Michigan was that fact that it was a little bit warmer and the dew points were a couple degrees higher.  High temperatures here in W. Michigan were mostly between 85 and 90.  The beach weather station in Muskegon had a high of 78.3.  On the other side of Lake Michigan, the temperature reached 96 at Chicago O’Hare, Midway Arpt., Wheeling and Waukegan.  It was 95 in Milwaukee and got as high as 97 in Kenosha WI.  A total of 98,000 customers lost power in SE Wisconsin and NE Illinois.  Two people were critically injured in Chicago, one by a falling tree and the other when the wall  of a building under construction collapsed.  There were hundreds of trees and wires down.  Note the first picture of the live wire.  Water can carry electricity a long way.  What if there was a stream of water from the heavy rain going down that alley.   Someone dozens of feet away from the wire could be electrocuted if they touched the water that also was touching the live power line.  The storms left more than 98,000 customers without power in SE WI and NE IL.  Due to the high winds, METRA trains stopped running and some sat for 2 hours before resuming their route.  There were flight delays at O’Hare and Midway.  Tents were blown down at the Taste of Polonia and a tree fell over at the Jazz Festival in Millennium Park.  A number of high school football games were cancelled because of the storm.   The second picture is a condo collapse on the north side of Chicago.  Wind gusts were estimated at 75 mph in Skokie and 70 mph at Evanston and Harwood Heights.  Waukesha WI measured a gust to 67 mph, Oconomowoc WI had 62 mph and Pontiac IL measured a gust to 61 mph.  3.8″ of rain fell at Harvard IL.     Here’s storm reports from NE Illinois and SE Wisconsin.  Power lines were toppled at Sandusky and Romulus, Michigan.  Here’s U.S. storm reports from Friday.


Severe T-Storm Watch Ends

August 30th, 2013 at 3:16 pm by under Bill's Blog, Weather

watch WW0504 RADAR Thumbnail ImageThey delayed the MSU-Western football game due to a thundershower for nearly an hour.  They’ll play thru rain, but it’s not safe with cloud-ground lightning.      Nice storm came into Holland around 7 pm…Gust to 35 at Boatwerks with moderate to heavy rain and a gust to 36 mph at the Port Sheldon buoy 3 miles offshore and 37 mph at the Spyglass Condos Weather Station north of the channel.  0.46″ rain at Boatwerks, and 0.40″ at Spyglass.  Kyle and I watched the storm on our Boatwerks camera.Many reports of trees down and hail in the northern suburbs of Chicago…Lake County IL hit hard.  Gusts to 67 mph near Milwaukee, 60 mph near Lake Geneva.  Nothing severe in West Michigan.


Mesoscale Discussion – Watch Possible for W. Michigan!

August 30th, 2013 at 1:38 pm by under Bill's Blog, Weather

MD 1803 graphic The Storm Prediction Center has issued a Mesoscale Discussion for much of S. Lower Michigan.  Severe T-Storm Watch is possible! SPC says: ” MORE SUSTAINED/CONCENTRATED SVR POTENTIAL IS EVIDENT FROM CENTRAL LOWER MI WWD ACROSS LM INTO SRN WI…SHIFTING SEWD OVER SRN LOWER MI…SRN LM AND NRN IL. VIS IMAGERY INDICATES CONVECTION DEEPENING…INCLUDING “A FEW YOUNG CB…ALONG WI/LM SEGMENT OF PREFRONTAL TROUGH. LARGER LAPSE RATES ALOFT…RICH LOW-LEVEL MOISTURE AND MORE SUSTAINED INSOLATION WILL LEAD TO FAVORABLE DESTABILIZATION IN WARM SECTOR. SFC DEW POINTS COMMONLY IN 70S OVER WI/IL/LM AND MID-UPPER 60S OVER LOWER MI WILL CONTRIBUTE TO MLCAPE IN 2500-3500 J/KG OVER WI/IL AND 1500-3000 J/KG OVER REST OF DISCUSSION AREA. RELATIVELY WEAK DEEP SHEAR WILL REMAIN ONE LIMITING FACTOR FOR OVERALL ORGANIZATION…WITH EFFECTIVE SHEAR MAGNITUDES REMAINING AOB 30 KT MOST AREAS.”   HRRR model not as excited about storms downtown from Lake MI.

Also, 7.0 magnitude E-quake south of the Aleutian Island Chain…no tsunami expected.  It was pretty deep (21.4 miles).


Friday

August 30th, 2013 at 12:38 pm by under Bill's Blog, Weather

Local   1200 UTC Day 1 Outlook 1:00 PM – Just got back from a funeral, our neighbor from 2 doors down. He was 96, a former school supt. Tomorrow we have a wedding to go to.  I see SPC has upgraded to a Slight Risk Area for much of S. Lower Michigan.  SPC says:  “EXPECT ONGOING STORMS ACROSS NRN LOWER MI TO INCREASE…EXPANDING SWWD ALONG THE FRONT ACROSS LOWER WI AND INTO IA BY AFTERNOON — ALONG WITH AN ASSOCIATED INCREASE IN STORM INTENSITY WITH TIME. THOUGH DEEP-LAYER FLOW WILL REMAIN SOMEWHAT MODEST — WITH ONLY 25 KT LOWER AND MID-TROPOSPHERIC WNWLYS ACROSS THE REGION…SHEAR WILL BE SUFFICIENT IN CONJUNCTION WITH ANTICIPATED MODERATE DESTABILIZATION TO SUPPORT SOME SEVERE RISK WITHIN STRONGER CELLS/CONVECTIVE CLUSTERS. GIVEN EXPECTED DESTABILIZATION AND HI-RES CONVECTION-ALLOWING MODELS ALL SUPPORTING THE AFOREMENTIONED SCENARIO…UPGRADE TO 15% HAIL AND WIND PROBABILITY/SLIGHT RISK FORECAST APPEARS WARRANTED FOR THE EXPECTED AFTERNOON/EVENING MAXIMUM IN CONVECTIVE INTENSITY.”

We’ll have a chance of a shower or t-storm today and tonight (best time evening). The models don’t give us much rain (only 0.02″ on the European), but with humid air, any showers and storms that do develop will likely have some brief heavy rain.  Saturday looks dry.  The next from may (not will, but may) bring us a shower or t-shower Sunday PM/Night.  Most of Monday, all of Tuesday and most of Wednesday look dry.  A shower or t-storm may accompany the next front about Weds. PM or night.  The European is colder with the air behind that front (taking the 850mb temp. to 4.3C with low temperatures Thurs. AM in the mid-upper 40s.  The GFS is warmer.   I’ve said before than I think Sept. is 1 to 2 deg. warmer than average in W. Michigan.   I’m back at work for the evening shift today (Fri.) and Sunday.

Record highs Thurs:  105 McCook NE, 93 Cut Bank MT and 74 at Eureka CA.  On the other hand, more snow for northern Alaska.

For Michigan weather observations and wind speeds, click here. Here’s WOOD-TV looping Radar. Check out regional radar, GRR radar, northern Indiana radar, Chicago radar and Milwaukee radar. Here’s the College of DuPage Radar Map (pick any radar in the U.S.), College of DuPage Grand Rapids radar, the local warning/advisory map and the National warning/watch/advisory map, and a surface weather map. You can checkout the latest Grand Rapids NWS discussion, the Northern Indiana NWS discussion (includes the Michigan Counties that border Indiana), the discussion for Northern Lower Michigan, and Eastern Lower Michigan. Check out Storm Total Rainfall (until they reset it). Here’s the Spyglass Condos Weather Station the S. Haven GLERL station, the Muskegon GLERL station, the Grand Haven Steelheaders webcam and weather station, and the weather station at Holland State Park. Check out the WOOD lightning tracker and U.S. lightning, the Maranatha Webcam at Lake Michigan and links to webcams. Here’s the infrared satellite loop (night) and the visible satellite loop (daytime), Lake Michigan water temperatures. Here’s storm reports from SW Michigan, Northern Michigan, NE Illinois, SE. Wisconsin, Upper Michigan and E. Michigan.


Great Lakes Water Levels

August 30th, 2013 at 4:12 am by under Bill's Blog, News, Weather

muskegon glerl 1muskegon glerl 2 These pics. are from the Muskegon GLERL camera at the Muskegon Channel. The pic. on the left is a ship coming into Muskegon Lake, which may be this ship.   The second is sunset.   The water level of Lake Michigan/Huron was unchanged in the past month, but is now 6″ above the level of one year ago.  The lake is still 19″ below the century average, but 12″ above the lowest August level recorded in 1964.   Lake Superior is unchanged in the last month, but is a full 9″ above the level of one year ago.  That’s an increase of 4.97 TRILLION gallons of water in just one year!  Superior is also 18″ above the water level of Aug. 2007.  The lake is 3″ below the century average and 16″ below the highest August level reached in 1952.  Lake Erie is down 4″ in the last month, but still 9″ above the level of one year ago.  The lake is right at the historic average.  Lake Ontario is down 6″ in the last month, but is up a whopping 14″ since Aug. 2012.  Ontario is 2″ above the long-term average.     Check out some interesting Great Lakes News here (reenactment of the famous Battle of Lake Erie).  Also, developing the Port of Muskegon, Zebra-mussles may be influencing the taste of Lake Michigan water and the police force of Beaver Is.


August Rainfall so far

August 29th, 2013 at 1:26 pm by under Bill's Blog, Weather

Lightning over Lake Michigan by Bob on ReportIt   Lightning over Lake Michigan (from Bob at ReportIt).  August rainfall so far:  1.90″ Grand Rapids, 1.88″ Muskegon, 1.57″ Holland, 0.99″ Fremont, 0.84″ West Olive (north of Holland), 1.24″ Sparta, 1.89″ Big Rapids, 1.81″ Belding, 4.73″ Lansing, 4.75″ Battle Creek, 5.05″ Jackson, 5.18″ Ceresco, 5.38″ Albion, over 6.25″ at both Richland and Oshtemo (both in Kalamazoo Co.), 4.05″ Entrican (Montcalm Co.), 4.08″ Fennville (much more than Holland), 4.15″ Lake City, 4.31″ Three Rivers, 3.64″ Hastings, 3.17″ Clarksville, 2.95″ Watervliet, 2.23″ Hart, 1.95″ Hudsonville.      9″ of rain fell in roughly 24-hours in Tainen, Taiwan (tropical cyclone).


Batman vs Superman movie filming in Michigan

August 29th, 2013 at 8:30 am by under Entertainment
Official Logo for Batman vs Superman movie courtesy Warner Bros.

Official Logo for Batman vs Superman movie courtesy Warner Bros.

“Batman vs Superman” movie filming in Michigan

Was Henry Cavill (pronounced like travel) good as the new Superman in “Man of Steel”?
Is Ben Affleck the right choice to become the new Batman?
The bigger question for us in the mitten state is… how much money and how many jobs will the sequel bring to the state of Michigan?

The currently unofficially titled “Man of Steel” sequel has been approved for Michigan’s film incentives… that will feature two of the most popular costumed heroes from the DC Comics universe: Superman (Cavill) and Batman (Affleck)… in one movie.   The working title by many media outlets is actually “Batman vs Superman”, which follows several comic book story arcs concerning the two characters.  The big budget blockbuster is not just a sequel to this year’s incarnation of Superman, its also expected to help setup an eventual “Justice League” movie or spinoffs (like the megahit “Avengers”), and will be the first new actor to play Batman since Christian Bale took over the Dark Knight cape and cowl in 2005.   There has been a lot of buzz (mostly negative) about the casting of Affleck as the new Batman, but despite the outcry and petitions for change, the Oscar winning actor/director has reportedly signed on for multiple Batman movies.  Affleck would be the 6th actor to play the caped crusader in a feature film (Adam West, Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer, George Clooney, and Bale were the others).

Henry Cavill as Superman in "Man of Steel" courtesy Warner Bros.

Henry Cavill as Superman in “Man of Steel” courtesy Warner Bros.

Ben Aflleck as "Daredevil" courtesy 20th Century Fox"

Ben Aflleck as “Daredevil” courtesy 20th Century Fox”

Back to the production in Michigan… the Michigan Film Office says the untitled movie  expects to begin filming “in metro Detroit and throughout Michigan sometime in the first quarter of 2014″ (January-March)… with a scheduled July 2015 release date.

My sources say that no locations in West Michigan have been scouted for the project, but its still early in the process, as the movie is still in the pre-production stage.

The movie has been approved for $35 million in incentives on an anticipated $131 million of in-state spending, and expects to hire 406 Michigan workers.  I would expect that the total budget for the movie has to be more than the $225 million spent on “Man of Steel”.

The Michigan Film Office also said it would use about 500 Michigan vendors and spend $5.1 million on local hotels, as well as an additional $3.5 million in out-of-town cast and crew per diem payments that will be spent in the local economy but which fall outside of the incentive program.  The incentive funding for the project will be allocated out of the Fiscal Year 2014 budget.

The movie will be directed by Zack Snyder (“Man of Steel”, “Watchmen”, “300″) from a story written by Snyder and David S. Goyer.  The movie also stars Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne and Diane Lane.

From press release: “Detroit is a great example of a quintessential American city, and I know it will make the perfect backdrop for our movie,” stated filmmaker Zack Snyder. “Detroit and the entire state of Michigan have been fantastic collaborators, and we are looking forward to working together on this film.”

More later….

So what did you think?  Please post a comment!

Subscribe to my blog (get email updates whenever I post a new blog): http://feeds2.feedburner.com/woodtv8-blogs-laff-at-the-movies?format=html (more…)


Thursday PM

August 29th, 2013 at 4:11 am by under Bill's Blog, Weather

glerl  Midday update.  Lots of sun now, but we’ll go partly cloudy this afternoon.  It’ll be dry and warm for Football Frenzy this Thurs. night…players and even fans should be drinking water and stay hydrated.  A thunderstorm is possible for Football Frenzy Friday night, so stay up with the latest forecasts.  We also have Western Michigan playing MSU in East Lansing and there is a chance of a shower or storm during and after that game.  The chance of rain for the CMU/U of M. game isn’t zero, but it’s probably just 20% at this point.   Here’s the college football schedule for Thurs. to Sat.   The NAM gives G.R. 0.17″ of rain Friday evening.  That may be underdone in this humid air.  The chance of rain is good then, but it’s not a sure thing for all locations….I’d put the chance of rain around 75%.   The morning run of the NAM model gives G.R. low 90s Friday (hot and humid), 83 Sat. and 84 Sun. with cooler air to follow for Monday and beyond.  Two significant cold fronts are on the way for next week.  The first Sunday evening and the second around late Weds.  The second will have some significantly cooler air behind it.  This early Thurs. PM, there’s a band of strong storms that has plowed thru N. Minnesota moving out over Lake Superior.   There has been some wind damage with this line of storms, which should eventually weaken as it continues to the east.  ALSO, the Rim Fire in California is now 31% contained.  The fire has consumed 191,000 acres, making it the 7th largest fire since records began (and I don’t know when that was) in California.

The picture here was the sun setting into some distant cirrus clouds Weds. evening from the GLERL camera at Muskegon.  We’ll start this Thurs. with patchy fog.  It should be another dry and warm day with temps. up into the mid-upper 80s.    We’d get a couple showers/t-showers Fri. PM/night and Sunday night/early Monday.  The European has .13″ of rain Fri. evening/night and a paltry .03″ Sunday night into early Monday.  I think those numbers are underdone.   The European model would give G.R. upper 80s (to near 90) today, low 90s Friday, low 80s Sat. and maybe 73 on Monday (definitely cooler on Monday).  Another cool front comes thru about Weds. PM next week, and that’ll have even cooler air, with highs Thursday possibly low 70s or even upper 60s.  Also, it was warmer in Escanaba Weds. than it was in Miami Beach.  Here’s timelapse of the Rim Fire out in California, the 7th biggest fire in California history.  Since 1960, we have had only 5 years without an Atlantic hurricane before Sept. 1st.  This year should be #6.   It’s also the lowest # of tornadoes in the U.S. since at least 2o02.   Extreme cold in S. America (State of Emergency in Peru) may have killed 250,000 alpacas (by contrast, the polar bears seem to be doing  just fine) and a severe winter storm has hit the Brooks Range in Alaska, stranding numerous trucks on the Dalton Highway amid heavy drifting snow , high winds and zero visibility.


Happy Wednesday

August 28th, 2013 at 10:01 am by under Bill's Blog, Weather

Storm - Jack Strayer 8 27 Howard City   spcThe first picture is the storm coming into Howard City (from Jack Straayer on my facebook page).   On the right is the Storm Prediction Center’s Thunderstorm Risk Area for Friday.   There’s a “See Text” over our area.  SPC says: “RIDGE-TOPPING SHORT-WAVE TROUGH IS EXPECTED TO DIG SEWD ACROSS THE UPPER MS VALLEY TO A POSITION FROM WI INTO NERN IA BY 30/18Z. CONSIDERABLE AMOUNT OF CONVECTION MAY EVOLVE AHEAD OF THIS FEATURE WITH MULTIPLE THUNDERSTORM CLUSTERS LIKELY TO BE ONGOING AT SUNRISE FRIDAY MORNING. WITH LOW LEVEL WARM ADVECTION EXPECTED TO AID THIS ACTIVITY…VEERING LLJ SHOULD DRIVE MCS-TYPE ACTIVITY ACROSS NRN WI INTO LOWER MI WHERE WEAKER INSTABILITY IS LIKELY TO BE OBSERVED. WHILE GUSTY WINDS AND PERHAPS SOME HAIL MAY BE NOTED WITH EARLY MORNING ELEVATED CLUSTERS…THERE IS SOME CONCERN THAT DAYTIME HEATING MAY PROVIDE SUFFICIENT DESTABILIZATION FOR RENEWED DEVELOPMENT ALONG SWRN FLANK OF THIS ACTIVITY. IF SO POTENTIALLY MORE SIGNIFICANT CONVECTION COULD EVOLVE WITHIN MODEST NWLY FLOW REGIME AHEAD OF DIGGING SHORT-WAVE TROUGH. FOR NOW 5 PERCENT SEVERE PROBS APPEAR ADEQUATE FOR THIS SCENARIO.”   We’ll be tracking it.  I’m not working today and tomorrow (Thu.), but am working Friday and Sunday.  Current Michigan weather map here.

A very weak cool front has moved through, changing the winds to the northeast.  There’s a lot of low cloudiness around (satellite loop here), but this will eventually give way to partly cloudy skies this afternoon.  Not much change of air mass, so we’ll stay on the warm and muggy side, but we should stay dry until Friday.  The GFS-plot has 0.71″ of rain for G.R. from Fri. into Sat. (not all-day rains…brief showers/t-storms).  The European has 0.67″ Fri./Sat. with another .18″ Sunday.  Both models drive a significant cool front thru late Sunday and it’s much cooler and less humid on Labor Day (Monday) with highs in the upper 60s on the GFS and low 70s on the European.  The Climate Prediction Center has Michigan in an equal chance of above or below average temps. and rainfall for the 8-14 day period.  I’ve had Michigan about 1-2 deg. warmer than avg. for Sept.  We certainly move away from the real heat and humidity after Sunday.

Rainfall Tuesday/Tues. night:  4.84″ McBain (Missaukee Co.), 3.85″ Marion (Osceola Co.), 3.51″ St. Louis (Gratiot Co.), 3.09″ Lansing 24-hour total thru 8 am – 3.39″ midnight-midnight yesterday), 2.9″ Lake Ann, 2.78″ Traverse City, 2.61″ Mt. Pleasant, 2.5″ Bellevue, 2.19″ Manton, 2.12″ Albion, 2.02″ Grand Ledge, 1.84 Clarksville (Ionia Co.), 1.75″ Entrican (Montcalm Co.), 1.72″ Alma, 1.62″ Jackson, 1.53″ Charlotte, 1.51″ Marshall, 1.50″ Hastings, 1.21″ Rockford, 0.71″ Grand Rapids (airport), 0.18″ Battle Creek, 0.03″ Muskegon, 0.01″ Holland, trace in Kalamazoo, nothing at Benton Harbor.

The morning stats. on the Rim Fire near Yosemite CA show 4,081 fire fighters working the fire with 491 engines and 17 helicopters.  The fire is about 22% contained with total containment at least a week away.  The fire has burned roughly 185,000 acres and is now the 7th largest wildfire in CA history.   Overall, this has been a relatively (important word) quiet year for wildfires…the least number of wildfires in over 10 years and the 2nd least number of acres burned.

The CFS model shows generally mild air thru Sept. 16, then cool with perhaps some scat. frost Sept. 16-26…the ridge builds back for some milder (relatively to average) temps. from Sept. 26-Oct. 6…then a real cool shot for Oct. 7th and beyond with widespread frost and possibly even a few snowflakes then.   Also, fewest # of 100-degree temps. in the U.S. this year in over a century (data set here).  The ice melt in the Arctic may have bottomed out early (note how the Arctic ice extent is greater than in the past several years, and much greater than one year ago).  The Arctic north of 80 deg. latitude has had the coldest summer since records began in 1958.   The Antarctic icecap has grown significantly in the past year and is setting daily records for areal extent.  The Antarctic icecap has been growing in size pretty steadily since the mid 1980s.   And…check out “fishin’ without a pole! (more amazin’ jumpin’ Asian carp).